Former FBI agent and psychological profiler Robert Payne is on the trail of a serial killer. A 12 year old girl has been murdered and mutilated, and the detective assigned to the case wound up dead. Now Nora Conners, the girl's wealthy mother, has hired Payne to solve the murder and bring closure. After narrowing his search to three men, a televangelist, a honey salesman, and an art teacher, all living in the small Iowa town of New Hope, Payne begins to narrow the field, posing as a journalist.
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The mutilation murders stun the quiet Iowa town of Cedar Rapids and call for the special skills of criminal psychologist Robert Payne, who uses clues from the crime scene to piece together a psychological portrait of the killer. The prime suspect is another Indian, David Rhodes, who is estranged from his wife, police detective Cindy Rhodes - and the woman with whom Payne is starting to fall in love.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A Catholic priest has been found half-naked and dead in a seedy motel room, with his tongue cut out. Ex-FBI profiler Robert Payne has been called in to investigate by his childhood friend Steve Gray, now a monsignor. With a fund-raising drive coming up, Steve wants to squelch a scandal. But all the signs point to unholy doings in the tightly knit parish. Why did the pugnacious president of the Parish Board remove a gold earring from the scene of the crime? Was his beautiful blonde wife doing more than confessing to the profligate priest?
Twenty-five years ago, in a small Iowa town, an asylum for the criminally insane burned to the ground, killing inmates and employees. The fire was set by Paul Renard, a sexual psychopath who escaped the blaze and disappeared. Today young Ricky Hennessey faces murder charges in the death of his girlfriend. His defense: Paul Renard did it. Legal investigator Robert Payne joins the case at the request of Tandy West, a cable TV psychic and Payne's former lover.